District 5 — Eveleth area
Conservation Officer Darrin Kittelson (International Falls 1) reports the hot weather resulted in lots of people heading to Rainy Lake to escape the heat — or at least get a reprieve from it. Fishing activity has mainly been limited to the mornings or evenings because of the heat.
Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession and boating issues. A wolf-depredation complaint was also investigated.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls 2) spent time this past week working Rainy Lake and the Rainy River checking anglers and working aquatic invasive species enforcement at area landings.
Simonson also responded to burning complaints in the International Falls area. Simonson would like to remind people that due to the extreme dry conditions right now, there is a burning ban in place for a reason.
Enforcement action taken this week was for wanton waste of walleyes, burning without a permit, no license in possession and not having a Type IV throwable device.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports that with abnormally dry conditions, outdoor recreationists are reminded about high fire dangers and responsibilities involved with any type of outdoor fires. The dry conditions are also contributing to slow green-up for black bear food sources, leading to an uptick in complaints. All food sources need to be removed to discourage bears from frequenting residential areas.
Training was attended at Camp Ripley, and equipment maintenance was performed.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports angling and boating activities were monitored. ATV activities and forest roads were checked.
Fire danger is extreme and numerous fires were reported over the weekend. Equipment work and administrative reporting is ongoing.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked ATV enforcement, angling activity, and boat and water safety. Time was also spent following up on an ongoing trespass issue, investigating nuisance-bear complaints, and assisting local partnering agencies.
Violations encountered included failure to display valid ATV registration; expired motorboat registration; failure to remove the boat plug during transport; and no angling license in possession.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) responded to several water emergencies in the Tower station earlier last week. Time was also spent checking anglers and finishing paperwork.
Zavodnik wants to remind operators about the importance of being cognizant of other boaters and people when out on the waters.
Nuisance-bear and shoreline-alteration complaints were also fielded over the week.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the past week monitoring fishing, boating and ATV activity. Fishing success remained poor. Warm weather brought out high numbers of recreational boaters and jet ski riders.
Broughten fielded calls regarding nuisance animals, ATV trespass and boat registration. Broughten also assisted with a grass fire and assisted the State Patrol with a report of a car fire.
District 6 — Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports extremely hot weather, low humidity and dry conditions made for some dangerous fire conditions in the Ely area. The Crab/Cummings Lakes area inside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness were under a closure of the weekend while an active fire was fought from the air. Fishing activity was high but overall success continued to be poor.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely 2) checked anglers and boaters this past week. He attended training and took several calls about northern pike regulations. Velsvaag also followed up on a call about canoers having problems in the high winds.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked anglers on remote lakes and monitored the transportation of AIS. He also responded to several nuisance-animal calls and checked ATV riders and state parks.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) helped with annual firearms qualifications at Camp Ripley. She took calls on BWCAW fishing, backcountry camping and off-highway vehicle operation.
Manning also passes on a bit of advice from a local tow driver: Just because it worked in the TV commercial doesn’t mean you should try it yourself. This week’s example involved a car that had to be pulled out of the beach rock with a tracked groomer.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) patrolled in and out of the BWCAW this week. Training was attended at Camp Ripley. A fair fish bite was noted, even during the recent heat.
Violations addressed included under 21 consumption of alcohol; possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia; operating an unregistered off-highway motorcycle; operating an off-highway motorcycle on a state highway; no personal flotation devices; and glass in the BWCAW.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and watercraft activity this past week. Schottenbauer also assisted with training other officers at Camp Ripley in addition to responding to nuisance-bear complaints and a car vs. moose.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports certifying eight students during an ATV field day held at the Cook County High School. A big thanks to the volunteers who make it all possible. Hill took a report of dumped animal carcasses in Schroeder.
Enforcement action for the week focused on aquatic invasive species as the area boat accesses were full of activity. One boat plug violation was handled.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked boating and fishing activity this week. Warm weather has increased fire danger once again in the area and campers are urged to watch for any burning restrictions and to make sure campfires are completely extinguished.
Murray also attended Division training and investigated an illegal-burning complaint.
District 7 — Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) conducted angling and boating enforcement and attended yearly firearms training at Camp Ripley. Two anglers were found in possession of illegal-length walleyes, and a complaint of illegal birch-pole cutting was taken.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) patrolled state parks and worked anglers, forestry, small game and ATV riders. Numerous game and fish questions were answered. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked heavy angling and ATV activity in the area.
Enforcement action was taken for angling for muskellunge before the season opened; angling without a license; operating an unregistered watercraft; and angling too close to a dam.
With very warm weather, more watercraft-recreating activities were observed over the past week.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, boating, ATV and aquatic invasive species activities throughout the surrounding areas. Anglers who were contacted reported limited success.
Assistance was also given to local law enforcement agencies for various calls for service. Enforcement action was taken for several angling and boating violations.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) reports the number of folks taking part in outdoor summer activities greatly increased in the area, as did the violation rate.
Remember that if you are looking to try your hand at fishing from a boat to double check that you have all of the proper safety equipment, make sure your boat registration is updated, and ensure that you have a current angling license.
District 8 — Duluth area
Lake Superior Marine Unit